A souvenir made from plywood and cardboard called the KD Daruma (Knock-Down Daruma) won the most fascinating souvenir award given by the Japan Tourism Agency. The souvenir is a replica of the good luck talisman symbolizing the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism, Bodhidharma.
Three firms from Takasaki City in Gunma Prefecture collaborated to produce the KD Daruma released by “occS”. The city is known to be the largest maker of daruma dolls and is the location of the “daruma temple” called Shorinzan. Daruma dolls are made from paper mache and painted a rich red, which are full of symbolisms despite its image as a toy. The KD Daruma uses flat pieces made by laser cutter to ensure the preciseness of the pieces. The plywood version, which is more stable and has a light brown color is worth 3,990 yen (US$ 38.84). The cardboard version on the other hand, comes at a cheaper price of 1,890 (US$ 18.40).
The KD Daruma is used to wish someone success or good luck. Both plywood and cardboard versions allow the one assembling the pieces to color or paint the daruma with a black eye as one wishes another prosperity. It also comes in a tourist-friendly packaging as instructions are written in both Japanese and English. The KD Daruma is also on sale online via Amazon Japan.
[via Rocket News 24]